Monday, January 23, 2017

REALLY WINDY AND REALLY WET

Yesterday I went to the farm solo, mainly just to check on things after the storms of this past week.  Heavy rains, strong winds, and even a small tornado/twister about 10 miles away from the farm.


 2nd Family said the final total was 6 1/2" of rain.  In January!  It's like our Spring monsoons.  We hope this isn't a sign of things to come later this Spring.  Anyway, you can see, this is the path the water takes from our end of the property.  There is an area they created on purpose when they originally got the property for Ma and it drains water away from the house, diagonally across the yard toward the driveway and then down a low spot along the side of the driveway and on down toward the road where there are drainage ditches.  


I had stopped to get wood and had it cut so I could start building the raised beds for the fruit trees that will go in behind the house and garden.  We now have enough for four of the beds but we still need enough for seven more.  


But alas it was too wet everywhere and I almost got the Jeep stuck.  It is 4WD, so I suppose I could have gotten out, ha, but I backed up and parked in a drier spot in the yard, ha. Ultimately, I just put the wood in the barn until things dry out.  Next weekend I'll get enough for four more, then three more after that and I can start building.  More on that when it happens.


It was VERY windy.  30mph sustained all day with gusts to 45mph.  As the weather forecasters said last night, we basically had a Tropical Storm hit yesterday.  Thousands without power, some trees down, etc.  At the farm, it was a good time to open the windows and let the house air out.  We like to open windows on opposite sides and ends of the house, it creates a wind tunnel effect and airs things out quickly.  The curtains billowed and drifted around...


 ...and at times were blowing around like the house itself was moving.  I expected to look out the window here and see an old woman on a bike ride by and tell me she'd get me and my little dog too...LOL!


Took this picture of Barnabas (the party tree) and like the way it came out.  

The Winter grass has greened up with the rains and the tree (it's an old Mesquite) has a majestic beauty to it this time of year.  It just has great "lines" that you can't see in the Spring when it's covered in leaves. This is the area where we will eventually put an outdoor dining table under there and would also like some string lights hanging under it.  But that will all come in time.  Other things to do first.

Hope you had a great weekend!
  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A TALE OF TWO HIGH-RISES


A view at the apartment in town of...


...a couple of skyscrapers.


And a view at the farm of a couple of other skyscrapers...


Off to the farm today for watering and some fruit tree planting preparations.  2nd Man is staying in town getting some much deserved rest after his accident.

Will catch up on comments when I get back.  
Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, January 20, 2017

THANKFUL GRATEFUL AND EVERYTHING ELSE

Sorry for no post yesterday and not replying to comments...I got a phone call at work, 2nd Man had been involved in a serious accident.  
He was OK, shaken up of course but thankfully, not hurt...


2nd Man had a green light on a one way street.

Driver's side rollover smashed
The other person was traveling down the feeder road and ran their red light...

Impact side on 2nd Man's car
...and t-boned him on the passenger side, spinning his car around and rolling it over onto the driver's side.  We are not sure if it somehow bounced back upright or if the bystanders who rushed to help pushed it back upright.

Other person's car
This is the other person's car.  
They were taken to the hospital (not sure of their condition, we believe it was just as a precaution).

Again, 2nd Man is fine, airbags deployed and the car really protected him.

The next couple of days will be hectic as we get rental lined up, get the car moved to the shop to see if it will be repairable or totaled (we lean toward it most likely being a total loss), etc.  We will keep you posted.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SURPRISE FLOOD

We have had a surprise rain event overnight...well, they did tell us it would rain but no one expected this much...


Parts of the area have had as much as 6" of rain.  Those familiar with the blog know that when it floods here in Houston, it floods.  This happened overnight while everyone was asleep and then people got up to go to work, school, etc and have found roads everywhere inundated with water.  There is more rain coming later today and this line is moving slowly across the city.

2nd Family said we had 2" of rain a couple of days ago.  Overnight the farm has had another 7" of rain.  They are flooded in out there.  Safe of course, never any danger of their house or ours flooding, but the roads around the farm are cut off and the driveway is flooded.  

In town, we're in a high-rise so we're good there.  2nd Man can work from home so that's good (for him, ha).  I work very close to home (less than 2 miles away) and in the insurance business so guess what?  I have to go in. Sigh. 


We've come to expect these epic rains in the Spring but January?  That's a new one for us!


I'll update this post tonight with the days events so check in later.  For now though, it's off to work.


UPDATE:


Well, the rains came again but not quite as heavy, maybe another inch at most. The bayous and drainage areas were able to recede and direct the water away and toward the Gulf of Mexico as it should.  


2nd Family said we got another inch out there as well.  There were also a couple of small tornadoes (if a tornado can be small, I guess that's the better one) in the area, one touching down just about 10 miles South of the farm.  "R" was able to get to work but only via one road.  That reminds us that someday when we are there full time, we will need to make sure we have all our supplies in case we are flooded in for a few days.  


We need to prepare for all outcomes I suppose!



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WONDERFUL IMPERFECTION

Saw this at the store and snapped a picture...


 ...it never hurts to be reminded of the importance of imperfection...

I'll catch up on comments tonight, there was a blogger issue yesterday that kept logging me off.  Seems to be fixed this morning but now it's off to work, ha.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

FREEZE UPDATE

Definitely LOOKS like Winter has come through...


The fields are brown and dormant, and the trees have lost their leaves (the green colors left in the photos are invasive vines growing in trees behind us).


This is one of two citrus, the orange and the lemon, they look fine...  


...this however is the lime tree.  
The leaves have been freeze burned but the tree still looks viable.  
Fingers crossed.


This is the bay laurel tree, 2nd Man was happy.


Here is one of the avocados.  
They don't look good but like the lime tree, hopefully they still have life in them.  


Sadly this is the aloe.  
100% my fault, forgot to move it inside for protection.  Sigh.


Here is a plant that we were happy with, it's called "Gold Star Esperanza" and it was another that just took root where it sat and was doing great.  Not sure if it will come back, we won't pull it up and will wait for Spring to see if it's alive.


This is the blue plumbago, probably got it in the ground too late in the season for it to be established but we'll see.


Lost all the ferns hanging in baskets on the porch.  Again, my fault, didn't put them inside.  Maybe we need some hanging plants that aren't so sensitive to freezing weather, if there is such a thing.


For some reason, the back of the house is covered in mildew again?!?!  Maybe being the North side and somewhat shaded this time of year?  

Too bad the freeze can't kill all this!


Here's a tree that fell, not sure why, it might have been dead but with the brush around it we couldn't see it.  In the wind and cold, it just fell over.  Now I have something unexpected to add to the list for Spring...lovely. 


And here is hope...this is the lavender we just planted a couple of months ago. It was doing great and we were both excited to have lavender.  This is what it looked like.  Now that's not frost on the foliage (kinda looks like it but this was mid 70's weather so definitely not, ha).  I moved the dead leaves and found green underneath.  I think there is hope for this one.



And of course, we have to laugh when we can.  Saw this and thought it was just too fun and just had to share.  

Yep, this is the way it is in this part of Texas.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

OFF TO CHECK THINGS OUT


EDIT:  I had this scheduled for this morning at 9am but alas, I put 9PM in the scheduler.  Oops.  When I didn't see a post up, I edited this on my phone.  
Hope it works.

Well today it's off to check things out after the great freeze of 2017, ha.  The water has been off and the pipes blown out.  So we should be alright there, but we need to make sure.  Also need to check the plants and see what survived

It's an odd weekend here, mornings cool, afternoons hot (we broke a record the other day) and it's overcast and looks like it might rain.

More later this weekend!


Friday, January 13, 2017

FRIDAY THE 13TH

OK...today is one of only TWO Friday the 13th's this year (the next one is in what seems now like far off October).  



So, that got us to wondering, how many of you are superstitious?  
Anything you will or won't do relating to a superstition?  

For me personally, I won't walk under a ladder, and I do "knock on wood" when I say something that might warrant that form of protection, ha.  I'm also very careful around mirrors and I still cross my fingers for luck...

But today doesn't feel like a bad day to us and of course we own a black cat so that's not even an issue.  I step on lots of cracks in my life.  I'll pick up a penny if it's on heads OR tails.  And I've been known to open an umbrella inside (though in all fairness, I don't "like" to do that).




Or are you the type like this and today is just another day?

Chime in below!  
We'd love to hear!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

FIRE RING AREA INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Fire ring, image courtesy of trendir.com
One of this year's for sure projects is to get a fire ring in place.  Not sure if we'll make it in time for more cold weather this season (if we even have any, ha) but there are times we can have cool weather in March and even into April.  Our main goal is to have it ready for SURE for next Fall.  That's part of a bigger plan for this year, more time to just relax and enjoy things at the farm...but more on that later.  Anyway, we're still gathering ideas and we like this look.  

The stones are really neat for sitting and look very "Stonehenge", but of course we understand from a practical standpoint that they are probably not very comfortable.  However, we do like the idea of a cleared out area and having some native plantings scattered about.  We'll probably lean toward Adirondack chairs for seating, but we'll see.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MARKETING

When is a stick just, well, a stick?

Smorstix
So I'm at the store the other day at lunch and saw this package.  "Smorstix" it said, in a catchy text spelling sort of way.  Perhaps designed to appeal to young people?  I was intrigued...after all, the advertising says "easy to use marshmallow sticks".


I looked at the package thinking there was some neat, new invention...a must have for the farm?

Um, hold on, they look like dowel rods...


...with one end stuck in a pencil sharpener?!?

I'm sure they work just fine, but hey, it's all about the marketing, right?